Friday, March 23, 2012

Barbados 2012 Blog #2

Sweet Home Chicago.  How easy it is to start to miss!  Too many good friends, too much great music, and so much to look forward to.  Will be home soon, and will be droppin' tracks to make you say 'word'.  

Barbados -  Gorgeous.  Tropical, lush, fun.  My adventures are few and simple.  The shows have been rocking, no doubt. Fun club, good people, true fans.  The great sound system and good piano has helped me, over the course of almost 20 straight shows, bump up both my piano playing and singing one more incremental level.  (It's a journey of a million steps!)  These shows wring me out a bit.  They are long, high energy, there is alcohol... There is alcohol, constantly, because the British don't tip... they buy you drinks.  They are all incredibly nice and appreciative, but they simply do not part with their money is the same way that Americans do.  Let's face it, only an American will throw 40 bucks down to hear his school fight song.  But these Brits are tight!  The flaming liberal in me traces it all the way back to colonialism.  The British have never come to Barbados to transfer wealth to the populace, theirs is more of an inverse relationship.  

All of it meaning, for me, that tips have been so absolutely dismal that I cannot see ever returning to Barbados to perform!  35 bucks a night all goes away immediately, mostly to the the three Bajans that I've come to realize, I have been supporting.  It's true, I am supporting three locals.  One, the Shoeshine Man, who is old and so kind and has I think, a brain injury.  He sold me a "diamond" bracelet, and asked me for a loan days later.  No problem Shoeshine Man.  Then there's Yosh, my valet.  He has expenses.  And, the bartender who flips me some weed.  

I've snorkeled the same reef, a ten-minute swim away from my hotel, about 5 times now, delighting in every aspect; the moray eels and sea snakes, large schools of beautiful neon black and Blue Tang fish, and literally near a hundred fish species darting all around the coral.  I've looked up the names.... Chubs, Grunts, Wrasse.  Porkfish, Damselfish, and Schoolmasters.  Snapper, grouper, even jellies!  I saw a gorgeous Trumpetfish, and the best, a beautiful two-foot long Spotted Trunkfish (photo).  No sea turtles yet, so I will try out some new environments this week.  Stoked!  I love the breathing, the swimming, occasionally diving, constantly exploring.  

Took the famous Yellow Bus to Bridgetown.  You pay $2 Barbados (=$1 US) for a full ride, and I mean ride.  Careening down the island road and holding on for dear life, the windows are all open, as loud caribbean radio music pumps over the speakers, it's nice to feel alive.  This was Sunday, and all the shops in Bridgetown were closed.  So I hit the ramshackles, drank rum with a one eyed septegenarian Bajan street vender, ate a deliciously fatty pork cutter sandwich, and hit a beach for a beer and surf, while a local version of the Jesse White Tumblers entertained in the sand.  The return to Holetown, for my show, again on a Yellow Bus but packed to the very rafters.  I was the only white man, thank Christ.  

Have a lunch date tomorrow with the sexy local ornithologist.  She is from France, here to study the mating habits of the native Zenaida Dove.  I've got a single dove living above the air conditioner on my patio, it sends out every evening long hooting mating calls, amplified by the box shape cement angles of the patio.  He's (?) got a nice little nest up there.  I wanna see that dove meet a lovely little lovey-dovey.  Don't you?